Sept. 19, 2011
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By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Putting in the extra work during the summer is key for any collegiate athlete looking to improve. Earlier this month, two members of the UCF baseball team were recognized for their efforts over the break as right-handed pitchers Ben Lively (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) and Garrett Nuss (Sorrento, Fla.) were ranked in the top 10 prospects of their respective summer leagues by BaseballAmerica.com.
Lively, who pitched for the Youse's Orioles this summer, was ranked the seventh-best prospect in the Cal Ripken League after going 2-2 with 3.10 ERA and 22 strikeouts. The Conference USA All-Freshmen team member began the summer with five shutout innings and eight punch-outs for his first win.
Fresh off of taking Mount Dora High School to the state final in his senior season, Nuss was ranked as the top prospect in the Florida Collegiate Summer League. The talented rookie pitched in seven games, ending the summer with a 3-1 record, a 2.65 ERA and 46 strikeouts. Nuss was also named most outstanding pro prospect by the league.
Head baseball coach Terry Rooney is glad that both of his young pitchers faired well this summer, and knows that the extra work they put in will pay dividends in 2012.
"Summer baseball is a huge part of the development of our players, and the majority of our kids go out in the summer to play," Rooney said. "For Garrett and Ben to go out there and receive those honors is great for both of them and our program.
"The way we look at summer ball is that it is an extension of our spring," Rooney added. "For the large majority of your our kids, summer baseball is an enormous part of their developmental process which directly affects their play at UCF. Ben and Garrett did well this summer, and I am expecting big things from them on our pitching staff this spring."
The Knights will continue their offseason workouts until the Black & Gold World Series on Oct. 26-28.